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Seattle botanical artist uses materials from her garden to recreate classic paintings

Bridget Collins is bringing a unique twist to the "museum challenge"

SEATTLE — A botanical artist from Seattle is doing a unique twist on the “museum challenge” craze.

Bridget Collins uses flowers, leaves and other natural elements from her garden to recreate classic paintings.

Credit: Bridget Collins
Collins' Instagram account, Flora Forager, has more than 200,000 followers from around the world.

More than 200,000 people follow her Instagram account Flora Forager. For years, she’s created images using petals, stems, and other botanicals.

But her access to a wide variety of flowers has never been more important to her worldwide following than right now.

"A lot of people have said that it helps them get through, to be able to see flowers online,” she said. "Because they can't go on a walk into the woods or in their neighborhoods. In Seattle, we can, but a lot of people across the world can't do that right now."

Her latest series is inspired by floral crowns – specifically, ones found in classic paintings.

Collins uses her homegrown flowers to decorate herself, then poses in homage to artists like Sandro Botticelli, Salvador Dali and Gustav Klimt.

Each post gets thousands of "likes” but it's the comments that mean the most.

Credit: Bridget Collins
Collins says creating her art has given her a healthy outlet to manage anxiety during the stay-at-home order.

"I've gotten a lot of people saying they're glad that I'm posting joyful things and beautiful things," she said.

The creative outlet is also helping Collins through this uncharted time.

"I was feeling really depressed and I went through some hard days where I was feeling sort of binge-watching Netflix shows and sort of glued to the news,” she said. "It's taken the stress away from me, because I have something else to fill my time, something creative helps me with anxiety… I'm pretty lucky this is happening during the spring!”

She hopes her series will inspire other people to find their own creative outlets, and take time to look up classic art online.

"These images that I'm using were a moment in time, and there were wars and plagues and things during those times. And we're (also) in a moment of time,” Collins said. “It just feels very poetic to think, this too shall pass. Maybe 100 years from now someone will be doing portraits of our imitations now, who knows?"

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